Were the disciples going to Emmaus Husband and Wife?
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.
Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?”
I am far from the only one who has suggested that the two disciples on the road to Emmaus were husband and wife. Aleteia has an article on the topic as does Catholic Answers. They were both going to the same village, and it is not too much to think they were going to their home. There are the two references I mentioned from Scripture (and two other gospel references that are similar).
I think at least acknowledging this possibility holds great hope for today. How amazing is it to suggest that husband and wife are discussing theology. They are trying to make sense of the world now that Jesus has died. How similar must this be when compared to countless times where a husband and wife discuss sad events they are trying to understand.
Moreover, how important is it to model today that all are called to holiness, just as the Second Vatican Council stated? That husband and wife, together with their children make up a domestic church striving for holiness? From my point of view, there is a tremendous need to broaden our vocational efforts to help clarify that all have a vocation (not just those called to religious life or priesthood).
And thinking of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus as husband and wife means broadening the sense of discipleship. We are in a time period of history where engaging in being the means of God’s call to holiness is very important indeed. Just imagine the power of prayer that could occur as those called to marriage became powerful agents of theology and prayer?
Using the imagery from the gospel helps us also to see the primary role of the bible and sacraments as foundations to help us to become closer to Jesus. It is when we walk alongside Jesus, the Word, comes alive in prayer when he references the word, the bible. It is when we sit at table with Jesus that he appears to us in the breaking of the bread.
The days we live in now are not easy. So now, more than ever, we need images of holiness that open our eyes so that we can see Jesus with us as well.
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